Originally released between 1975 to 1991 on the now-defunct Calliope label, Andre Isoir's recordings of the complete organ works of Bach have been unanimously acclaimed by both the press and the public. La Dolce Volta now offers these landmark recordings (unavailable since 2008), completely remastered, in a deluxe, specially priced boxed set. The set includes a 152 page, full color booklet rich with photos and information about the music and the recordings.
This 1990 Digital Recording is a must for Bach's CD Collector. Recorded using historic organs on which some were played himself by Bach. Marie-Claire Alain's playing here is more in historic and faithful to performance practice. The tempos and the registrations are well planned and the approach of playing is spontaneous and simple. The spirituality of the performer is so evident here.
"The grande dame of French organists, Marie-Claire Alain recorded the complete organ music of Bach not once, not twice, but three times. This collection is the third recording, made in the late '80s and early '90s, and recorded digitally by Erato. For this version, Alain had access to restored, historic organs, including some that Bach himself would have played…"
This program also makes a perfect introduction to the world of the cantatas in general for anyone who loves Bach's instrumental music or larger vocal works (like the B minor Mass), but who has been hesitating before taking the plunge into the vast sea of his cantata production. Why? Simple: two of these pieces contain music found elsewhere in Bach's output. For example, the first chorus of BWV 120 became the concluding number (Et expecto) of the B minor Mass "Credo". BWV 29 opens with an almost shockingly brilliant arrangement (as an organ concerto) of the opening movement of the E major violin partita, followed by the chorus that appears in the B minor Mass as both the "Gratias" and the "Dona Nobis Pacem" (the German original means exactly the same thing as the Gratias: "We thank thee," making the adaptation entirely apropos). All three cantatas feature brilliant writing for trumpets (four of them in BWV 119) and drums, and were written for civic ceremonies in Leipzig. And if the words are often less than inspiring to us now, no one can argue that Bach didn't rise to the occasion musically.